Landlords and managing agents

If you are a landlord renting out a property, the responsibility for paying Council Tax depends on what sort of letting arrangement you have.

When is the tenant responsible?

The tenant(s) is or are responsible for the Council Tax when you rent the whole of the property to one person or family, or to joint tenants. We send the bill to your tenant (s).

When is the landlord responsible?

If you rent out the property to several people, and they each have an individual tenancy agreement to occupy only part of the building – called ‘house in multiple occupation’ (HMO) – you as landlord are responsible for the Council Tax. We send the bill to you. The definition of an HMO for Council Tax purposes is not always the same as that used for the Scarborough Borough Council HMO licensing scheme.

If you live in the property with the tenants you as the landlord are responsible for the Council Tax. We send you the bill.

If the property is unoccupied or empty and isn’t anyone’s main home you as the landlord are responsible for the Council Tax. We send you the bill.

If you let your property to a tenant who is under 18 years old, you will remain liable for council tax. However, an exemption will be granted until your tenant's 18th birthday. When the tenant becomes 18 years old, they will be held liable and a council tax account will be set up in their name.

If the property is a residential care home or nursing home you as the landlord are responsible for the Council Tax. We send you the bill.

Tell us about a tenancy change

Please help us to reduce unnecessary paperwork, costly phone calls and visits by keeping us informed of tenancy changes immediately. This will let us provide a more efficient service to you and your tenants by sending correct bills, and awarding discounts and exemptions promptly.

We need landlords to:

  • Inform us of all changes in tenancy when they happen (or within 21 days of the change)
  • Give the full address of the property that is tenanted including the flat / apartment number, street name and postcode
  • Give the exact start and end dates of tenancies.
  • Details of whether the property is furnished or unfurnished.
  • Give the full names of each tenant; initials are not sufficient we require the full name and title.
  • Give the previous and forwarding addresses of your tenants.
  • Provide a copy of the tenancy agreement at the start of the tenancy.
  • Give a contact phone number in case we have any questions we need to ask you.
  • Although you may think it unnecessary for you to provide this information, the law does require you to give it, so that we can see who needs to pay the Council Tax, and how much the charge should be.

Please be aware that we can fine you if you do not provide the information we ask for within 21 days of the request.

Usually we will only consider backdating a change in our records for more than 21 days if there is a good reason why the information being provided is late and we can confirm that the information is correct. To confirm a backdated tenancy we would require a verifiable tenancy agreement, proof of the tenant’s identity, evidence of a tenancy deposit scheme receipt, utility bills in the tenants name and for the relevant period, external residency checks that support the residency and verifiable contact details for the tenant. In these circumstances a landlord may also be required to sign a declaration – in doing so you will be acknowledging that the information provided is accurate and are aware of the sanctions of supplying false information.

Empty property charges and reductions

Second Homes (empty and furnished property) – There is a 100% Council Tax charge for these properties.

Uninhabitable properties – (empty, unfurnished and undergoing major repair) - There is a 100% Council Tax charge for these properties.

Vacant dwelling (empty and unfurnished property) – There is a 10% discount for the first 28 days that these circumstances apply then there is a 100% Council Tax charge.

FROM 1 APRIL 2014 there is a 100% discount for the first 28 days that these circumstances apply then there is a 100% Council Tax charge. The 100% discount applies from the date the property first becomes vacant so may be applied to the tenants account from the date of vacation up to the official end of the tenancy, the landlord if his liability starts from the date of vacation or a combination of both. Only one 28 day period of 100% discount however can be applied.

Empty homes premium (empty and unfurnished property for at least 2 years) - There is a 150% Council Tax charge for these properties once they have been empty for two years.